Vanessa Roybal, Health Education Consultant
HSC Employee Wellness
Parenting during the last year probably meant wearing many hats at the same time. Depending on your circumstance, those hats could be employee, school tutor, cafeteria worker, after school entertainer, snack sommelier, and counselor as you care for your child’s emotional and social well-being. None of these are easy tasks, and it’s impossible for parents to focus and work as if they don’t have children.
Remember when we flew on airplanes? The airline attendant would announce “In case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first, then the people you care for.” Here are a few ways to make your well-being a priority that will help you to “put your oxygen mask on first.”
- Decompress. Find stress-relieving practices that work for you. Whether it is meditation, exercise, or a daily self-care routine, support your mental well-being to put your best foot forward when caring for your children.
- Play like a kid. Find some activities that you can all do together. Creating art, baking bread, or playing video games can feel nostalgic and connect you with your kids at their level.
- Keep a healthy routine. Maintaining morning and bedtime routines creates a sense of order. As we head into the summer months, parents may need to adjust those routines to meet their kid’s needs.
- Recognize when you need help. If parenting is getting too overwhelming, you have resources at UNM. Talk with a therapist or counselor to discuss your struggles and brainstorm some self-care activities in a judgment-free zone.
Whether you are a human parent, a pet parent, or a caregiver for a parent, supporting yourself is not selfish, but rather, it is a way to ensure that you are strong for your family. We nurture and care for our loved ones, but we must also learn to cherish and care for ourselves as well.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the craziness of the days, especially as summer approaches. Be gentle with yourself, focus on the positive, and reflect on what went as planned rather than dwelling on what didn’t. If you had a tough day, reset and move forward!